American Optometric Association Celebrates Grand Opening of Renovated National Headquarters Building

February 2, 2017

State-of-the-art building serves as home base for optometry profession   

St. Louis, MO - The American Optometric Association (AOA), the voice of doctors of optometry serving communities across America and the recognized national advocacy force for eye and vision health, commemorated the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation to its St. Louis headquarters February 1. Andrea P. Thau, O.D., AOA president, and the AOA Board of Trustees were joined by AOA members and local officials to showcase the newest stage of the advancement of the profession of optometry and the profession's historic ties to St. Louis and Missouri.   

"Optometry is proud of our deep roots in St. Louis and this building is an investment in our outstanding community, our members and our mission to advocate for patient access to the highest quality eye and vision health care," said Dr. Thau. "As the health care system changes, AOA is ensuring that we will have the tools and facilities necessary to continue to advance quality accessible eye care for Americans for decades to come. We thank our leadership, staff, building partners and neighbors who ensured that this building exemplifies the important work we do together."  

Built in 1968 and acquired by the AOA in 1978, this is the first full-scale renovation for the building, providing a technologically-advanced base of operations to extend the reach of the more than 80 employees based in St. Louis and more than 300 AOA volunteer doctors around the United States. Featuring modern, collaborative design and work spaces, energy-efficient elements including LED lighting and innovative meeting and training rooms, the renovated building allows AOA to better serve its members and sets the stage for future innovation and advancements for the optometry profession and the patients it serves.   

As part of their dedication to AOA's continued mission and work, members and affiliate optometric organizations across the country made significant contributions to the effort. Within three months of reaching out to enlist support, the AOA received more than $400,000 of commitments.  

"These individual and state affiliate contributions demonstrate the commitment members have to the work AOA is doing now and will continue to do to advance the profession and patient eye and vision care," added Dr. Thau.  

Patrons are acknowledged through plaques and a custom-made "wall of thanks" in the building's two-story atrium.

The AOA serves more than 44,000 doctors, students and paraoptometric assistants and 52 affiliated state associations and hosts education, research and advocacy conferences throughout the year. Among the major initiatives the AOA will continue to lead from its headquarters is " Think About Your Eyes," a national television, radio, newspaper and new media campaign promoting eye health awareness and understanding. In 2015, the World Council of Optometry officially relocated to the St. Louis AOA office from its previous offices in London.